The Seminoles take on the Huskies -- winners of 12 straight -- Tuesday night with a coveted BCS-bowl victory on the line.
Practice is sharp; Eliot talks and 'Noles hear Sammie Smith's testimony
Florida State practices in pads and then heads to beach party on third day in Hollywood.
Karlos Williams' memorable performance as a fill-in linebacker in the ACC title game raised the question of a possible position change for the speedy sophomore. But with one game to go and a new defensive coordinator set to take over at season's end, a decision on a switch will wait until next year.
As part of an ongoing series of articles, Seminoles.com Senior Writer Brandon Mellor looks at each member of Florida State's vaunted 2012 recruiting class. Next on the list safety P.J. Williams.
The Eliot File
D.J. Eliot completed his 14th season of collegiate coaching in 2011 and heads into his third season with the Seminoles in 2012.
Eliot has already made his mark, tutoring the players who have helped return FSU to its place among programs with elite pass rushers. Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine became one of the top defensive end trios in 2011 combining for 20.5 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hurries and nine pass breakups. For the second consecutive season, the Seminoles ranked among the top 10 national leaders in both sacks and tackles for loss. Eliot's defensive ends accounted for 51 percent of the team's sacks and 36 percent of the tackles for loss. FSU allowed its opponents to run for an average of just 2.35 yards per carry, which led the nation. The Seminoles ranked fourth nationally in total defense (275.0), second in rushing defense (82.69), fourth in scoring defense (15.1), eighth in tackles for loss (8.62) and tied for eighth in sacks (3.08 per game).
In his first season at Florida State in 2010, Eliot's defensive ends were one of the most improved units in all of college football. He and defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins put together one of the nation's top defensive fronts. Led by Jenkins - an All-ACC first team selection, the Seminoles tied for the national lead with 48 sacks, ranked third with a 3.4 sacks per game and tied for 11th in total tackles for loss. Jenkins totaled 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss to rank among the national leaders in both categories. He also was instrumental in the development of right end Markus White, who doubled his production from his junior to senior year and was a seventh round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2011.
Eliot was a member of the 2008 Rice staff which guided the Owls to a 10-3 record, capped by a Texas Bowl victory over Western Michigan. It was the program's first 10-win season since 1949 and first bowl triumph since the 1950 Cotton Bowl.
He is one of three FSU assistants who spent time on the coaching staff at the University of Miami, where he served as a graduate assistant working with defensive backs and special teams in 2002. Mark Stoops was the Hurricanes' secondary coach while Eliot was with the Hurricanes. Eddie Gran also did a graduate assistant stint at Miami a decade earlier.
Eliot earned his first full-time position at Texas State under David Bailiff, coaching defensive backs one season before a two-year stint with the linebackers. Texas State won the Division I-AA Southland Conference in '05 and qualified for the postseason. Bailiff later hired Eliot to join his staff at Rice.
Eliot's Coaching Ledger